Having never been, Kyle and I booked an impromptu trip to San Diego. We used AirBnB to find a cute little studio that was a 2 minute walk from the beach and put us right in food central. (PS - get $20 off your first AirBnB stay using my link!) I took advantage of this location and happily dined and drank my way through the trip, making sure to get in a long bike ride, a 5 mile run and tons of walking along the way so I didn't feel like a total balloon on the beach. While I took this as a true vacation and let loose, I made sure to be as prepared and smart about it as possible. I armed myself with tons of Paleo snacks for the plane ride and when I indulged in foods, I kept it to what I knew my stomach could handle like corn and rice. I mean, clearly I'm not going to go to San Diego and skip out on fish tacos! Our trip included stops at the San Diego Zoo, Ballast Point and Stone Breweries and the La Jolla area to see the seals!
Here's a peek at some of the gluten-free and/or paleo friendly food we devoured during our trip! Also, here is a picture of Kyle and me, because we both got a bit of color!
Our 1st stop was PB Alehouse, which was right by the beach. There, I fell in love. They have a fry flight on their menu. A FRY FLIGHT. It was as magical as it sounds. My main meal there was the Aztec Burger which had achiote cheese, bacon habanero chutney and avocado. There was also the option to have it in a lettuce wrap instead of a bun, which I took advantage of!
The next morning we had breakfast at Woody's Breakfast & Burgers, where you get to sit outdoors by the beach. I ordered the Power Scramble, made Freedom Style. This means it comes with potatoes and an English muffin (which I didn't eat.) You can also order it Fit Style which comes with fruit & yogurt, if you prefer.
After the zoo, we stopped at the Ballast Point Brewery tasting room in Little Italy. Their menu states that they "prioritize local & sustainable food practices including line caught fish, free range chicken & hormone free beef whenever possible," which is really cool. We had their Blue Cheese Duck Nachos. As a general rule, I hate blue cheese, but these were so good I could have licked the plate.
Another breakfast stop was at Truckstop, which is also by the beach. This is the City Slicker pile up with a smidge of goat cheese (literally everything you see on top,) rosemary potatoes and a fruit cup on the side. Honestly, this was pretty much just standard breakfast fare. I think non-gluten-free eaters might have a different experience here since they seem to have some great baked good options.
On Sunday, we popped over to the Baked Bear after dinner. They make ice cream sandwiches to order. After passing by a long line there our first night, I looked them up online and found out they offered gluten free chocolate chip cookies! Needless to say, I had to try it. I got butter pecan ice cream sandwiched between two gluten free cookies. I was in heaven!
Our last night we went up to La Jolla to see the seals at the cove and made our way to El Pescador Fish Market. This was easily my favorite meal of the trip. I got the halibut plate with brown rice and grilled veggies. Kyle got the yellowtail plate with the same pairing. Both of our meals were cooked perfectly and everything was so full of flavor. I would mark this as a must-eat for anyone headed to the San Diego area.
Breakfast at Broken Yolk was on our list. It is an infamous spot and was featured on an episode of Man v. Food. I don't think I would go there again. My omelette was pretty mediocre and I considered it slightly overpriced compared to the value. That being said, the fruit they gave me on the side was delish and the portions were large.
The pain of leaving the beach was too much to bare, so I made Kyle buy me a smoothie to feel better about it. We popped into The Blend Superfood Bar. They make their smoothies from raw, organic & local ingredients. I got the Raw Energy smoothie (banana, coconut, cinnamon, cacao nibs, maca, bee pollen, almond butter, honey & coconut milk.) and loved it. Kyle got the Mint Chip (kale, banana, mint, cacao nibs, dates, almond butter, vanilla extract & almond milk,) which I think I liked even more!
Our last hoorah was at the airport before we boarded our plane back to Chicago at Stone Brewing Restaurant. They served me some of the BEST fish tacos I have had. If you're going to eat airport food, do it right. Stone does it right.
Here are some other spots we checked out in the San Diego area:
Oscars Mexican Seafood - I seriously couldn't contain myself long enough to take a picture of the tacos we got here...AMAZING!
The Local - 1 block from our AirBnB and 1 block from the beach, we were here midday just to grab a drink. We sat on the rooftop patio for quite some time and really loved it up there.
Quartyard - This was by far one of the coolest places we went. It was set up like an outdoor patio/food truck/summer party. Kyle and I both got the Outcider hard cider from 2 Ciders which is a raw, unfiltered hard cider with no added sugars!
Mission Brewery - Really cool setting & environment. We weren't here very long but I would love to stop in again when I go back next.
JRDN - Part of the Tower23 hotel. The Slow Mo Fizz cocktail was my favorite of the weekend. We also split the brussels sprouts which were mouthwatering and delicious.
Disclaimer: Inclusion in the post above does not guarantee any of these to be 100% gluten-free. I am not an expert on the ingredients and/or policy of any of these locations. Always confirm with the restaurant and/or cook to ensure any ingredients or possible allergens.